FOLLOWUP: White Center Food Bank’s future home

September 28th, 2022 at 11:58 pm Posted in White Center Food Bank, White Center news | No Comments »

Back on Sunday, we covered the party thrown by the White Center Food Bank to say farewell to their soon-to-be-ex-location (8th SW/SW 108th). Sometime early next year, they’ll have to vacate as that property is being redeveloped into affordable housing and a “community hub.” We’ve reported previously on the WCFB’s search for a new site, and the search is finally over – today the WCFB officially announced the new location as they continue rolling out the capital campaign to get it ready:

After years of searching for their new home, White Center Food Bank (WCFB) purchased a building in the heart of
downtown White Center (10016-10024 16th Ave SW). This location will provide ample space for WCFB to grow and is centrally located along several major bus lines. However, substantial renovations and other upgrades are necessary to make the food bank’s new home welcoming and hospitable to everyone.

To raise the 6 million dollars necessary for this project, on September 25 WCFB launched their capital campaign with a group of customers, donors, staff, and board celebrating together. “This is a community effort and we know that by bringing our neighbors together, we can find a way to keep our community fed,” says WCFB Development and Communications Director, Jefferson Rose.

White Center Food Bank is looking beyond the old models of service and working to develop new ways to nourish the community with equity, accessibility, and dignity as their guiding principles. The new White Center Food Bank will be more than just a place where people can get food. It will be a welcoming community hub located directly in the heart of the changing and growing downtown White Center.

This new facility will bring together an incredible array of community programming, hosted both by the food bank and partner organizations. WCFB wants people from all walks of life to enter through our doors together, so that everyone feels comfortable receiving food whenever they need it.

“We’re excited for this next chapter to better serve the community and revitalize this part of the neighborhood. We hope that our supporters will continue to show up alongside us to ensure our community thrives,” says Carmen Smith, Executive Director.

To learn more, check out an informational video, renderings, and more here.

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Your local government’s proposed budget for the next two years

September 27th, 2022 at 11:56 pm Posted in King County, White Center news | No Comments »

King County Executive Dow Constantine has proposed a nearly $16 billion budget for 2023-2024. The announcement focused on areas including these:

Investing in our environment

-Converting Metro’s bus fleet to zero-emissions: $180 million to purchase battery-electric buses and $43 million in zero-emissions infrastructure to ensure that Metro’s 1,400 coach bus fleet is zero emissions by 2035.

-Restoring fish habitat: $28.5 million in capital investments to remove blockages to fish passage habitat. King County will restore access to 50 percent of fish passage habitat by 2032.

-Expanding access to heat pumps and solar panels: $1 million to expand the Energize pilot program, which installs high-efficiency heat pumps in homes occupied by residents with low and moderate incomes in White Center and Skyway, to include solar panels. The County will also invest $1.9 million to provide private lenders with more flexibility to offer better financing options to higher-risk homeowners for home upgrades that also improve the environment.

Affordable Housing & Homelessness

-Building affordable housing near transit: $45 million in bonds backed by lodging tax revenues will be issued in 2023 to fund affordable housing near transit stations.

-Supporting housing operations: Up to $30 million to fund operations, maintenance, and services for existing and new supportive housing sites.

-Make homelessness rare, one-time, and brief by supporting the King County Regional Homelessness Authority: $96 million to continue funding a coordinated crisis response to homelessness led by the King County Regional Homelessness Authority.

Justice & Safety

-Preventing Gun Violence: $9 million to support 52 Regional Peacekeepers Collective, trusted messengers delivering a community-led approach to gun violence prevention including critical incident response, hospital-based referrals, and hot spot remediation activities.

-Ensuring safety for transit riders and staff: $21 million to support 140 Metro transit security officers providing support and visibility on Metro buses, transit centers, and stops. An additional $5.1 million will support Metro SaFE Reform Initiatives, including a new partnership with the Department of Community and Human Services and community-based organizations to connect people in crisis on and near Metro transit with resources and services.

-Implementing body-worn cameras: $5 million to provide all Sheriff patrol deputies with body-worn cameras. Deployment of cameras and associated training will begin immediately and phased in over the next three years.

-Expanding treatment programs for people in or being released from King County jails: $6.3 million to maintain and expand jail-based opioid treatment programs and services for people being released from the jail with substance use disorder or other behavioral health conditions.

Anti-Racism & Pro-Equity

-Funding participatory budgeting: $10 million for a second round of participatory budgeting for residents of urban unincorporated King County. The first round of participatory budgeting concluded successfully in August 2022, with residents selecting 45 capital projects to fund in their communities.

-Supporting community-led diversion programs: $11.9 million to continue the Restorative Community Pathways program and the Community
Diversion Program to provide community-based accountability and services for youth and adults outside the court system.

-Vacating drug convictions: $2 million to community groups to build awareness about options to vacate drug convictions and provide services that address the needs of individuals affected by the collateral consequences of contacts with the criminal system and drug convictions, such as persistent barriers to housing and employment.

Behavioral Health

-As a part of this budget package, Executive Constantine is transmitting a proposal for a new levy to fund behavioral health and pending passage by the King County Council will be presented to voters for their approval this spring. Over the next nine years, King County will invest, build, and transform the way people in our community care for one another.

The Crisis Care Centers levy would make a generational investment of nearly $1.25 billion to:
-Create a network of 5 crisis centers

-Stop the loss and expand by nearly half the number of residential treatment beds

-Deploy more services even before the new centers open, and

-Recruit and retain an outstanding and representative workforce to serve the people of King County.

The King County Council now starts its work on reviewing and amending the budget – watch for public hearings in the weeks ahead.

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White Center Food Bank throws early ‘goodbye’ party

September 25th, 2022 at 11:56 pm Posted in White Center Food Bank, White Center news | No Comments »

The garden at the White Center Food Bank‘s longtime location (8th/108th) got a shout-out today as the WCFB threw a party to say goodbye to the site – even though they don’t expect to have to leave until early next year (they wanted to have the outdoor celebration before fall weather arrived, we’re told). The party also amplified the WCFB capital campaign to raise money for their new headquarters:

Those renderings were on display to show what the WCFB hopes to do in its new downtown White Center location. So far it’s raised a third of its $6 million goal. Getting the rest of the way there will be a community effort – and community was at the heart of today’s celebration:

Young artists laid the groundwork for a new mural. And performances underscored the many facets of White Center:

Dancers from the Khmer Amarak Dance Troupe were to perform a Blessing Dance. Meantime, guests at the celebration enjoyed food from banh mi to tacos:

After all, WCFB’s Jefferson Rose said cheerily from the stage, “we’re about food.” And they’re hoping the new headquarters will keep the community fed for decades to come.

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SATURDAY: Informal way to learn about Highline Public Schools bond and Evergreen High School plan

September 21st, 2022 at 8:09 pm Posted in Education, Election, Evergreen High School, Highline School District, White Center news | No Comments »

As part of the latest round of community outreach, Highline Public Schools reps will be at Dubsea Coffee in Greenbridge on Saturday to talk about the upcoming bond vote and the Evergreen High School plan that’s part of what the bond measure would pay for, if passed in November. Just drop in with your questions and/or comments between noon and 2 pm Saturday (September 24th) at 9910 8th SW.

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ROAD WORK: Paving ahead for Myers Way

September 19th, 2022 at 3:15 pm Posted in Traffic, Transportation, White Center news | 1 Comment »

Announced today by King County Road Services:

Sept. 21- Oct. 3: Expect delays on Myers Way S from S 99th St. to S 108th St.

Crews will temporarily close single lanes on Myers Way S between S. 99th St. and S. 108th St. for paving. Work hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; Sept. 21 through Oct. 3. Flaggers will guide traffic through the work area. All intersecting streets and driveways to remain open at all times.

Dates are subject to change and work may be postponed due to weather.

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FOLLOWUP: One fire-damaged White Center business that won’t be making a comeback

September 18th, 2022 at 10:52 pm Posted in Fire, Restaurants, White Center news | 3 Comments »

Thanks to David for the tip. One year after the Locker Room fire closed adjoining businesses too, one has announced it won’t be reopening: Bizzarro Italian Café‘s White Center restaurant. Bizzarro had been open only nine months before the fire hit. Their announcement this weekend says there were “MANY deciding factors” that led them to drop plans to reopen here, without elaborating on any of them.

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LET’S GROW! Fall open house celebrates New Start High School’s Shark Garden

September 15th, 2022 at 8:30 pm Posted in Gardening, Schools, White Center news | No Comments »

This garden has teeth! The New Start High School Shark Garden hosted a community open house last Saturday; thanks to Gill Loring for the photos.

It was more than a chance to see the community garden and those who tend it – it was also a resource fair, with local nonprofits on hand.

The garden was founded in 2015; you can read its story here. (Scroll down that page to see how the garden has donated literally tons of food to the White Center Food Bank!)

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BURN BAN: Stage 2 for unincorporated King County

September 9th, 2022 at 2:34 pm Posted in Safety, Weather, White Center news | No Comments »

Just announced:

King County Fire Marshal Chris Ricketts has issued a Stage 2 burn ban for unincorporated King County, prohibiting all outdoor recreational fires. Outdoor cooking and heating appliances are restricted to approved manufactured gas and charcoal units only.

The Stage 2 burn ban goes into effect immediately for unincorporated King County, which was already in a Stage 1 burn ban. King County’s ban is in coordination with the King County Fire Chiefs Association and Fire Marshals, which extends the ban into cities.

The updated ban takes effect as the National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for the region. This means critical fire weather conditions are present and any fires that develop will likely spread quickly.

During a Stage 2 burn ban, burning residential debris is prohibited, as is any other outdoor fire such as a backyard fire pit or campfire (using firewood or charcoal). Under the ban, any person with a recreational fire who fails to take immediate action to extinguish or discontinue it when ordered or notified to do so can be charged with a misdemeanor.

Manufactured portable outdoor devices are allowed, including barbeques and patio warmers that are used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Ricketts asks residents to please use caution when using any open flame.

Extended periods of unusually high temperatures have increased the fuel load, or vegetation, in our communities. The large fire in Oregon and other fires in Washington have stretched wildfire fighting resources throughout the region.

Ricketts says if residents must smoke, they should exercise extreme caution with their ashes or when they’re extinguishing cigarettes. King County asks residents to be diligent and respectful of their neighbors, and to remember that this is a demanding time for first responders.

“The summer months may be behind us, but that doesn’t mean high temperatures and dry conditions are,” Ricketts said. “Residents of the unincorporated areas—and all of the Puget Sound region, for that matter—should be careful with anything that could cause a fire.”

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SATURDAY: White Center Community Development Association invites you to celebrate ‘Truth in Community’

September 7th, 2022 at 9:44 pm Posted in How to Help, White Center Community Development Association, White Center news | Comments Off on SATURDAY: White Center Community Development Association invites you to celebrate ‘Truth in Community’

Looking for something to do Saturday night? The White Center Community Development Association has an invitation for you:

The White Center Community Development Association’s (CDA) 20th Anniversary Gala: Truth in Community, will be on Saturday, September 10, 2022 from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the South Seattle College Brockey Center. Gala attendees will hear community narratives and testimony that encompass the theme of ‘Truth in Community.’

We invite the community to join us for activities throughout the night, such as a silent auction, wine pull, and a champagne toast alongside dinner, dessert, and special performances. There will be opportunities to mingle with community partners and organizations as the Seattle-based band, the OBG’s, plays their favorite tunes.

The White Center CDA’s works to eradicate poverty and build a vibrant and economically diverse community in unincorporated White Center. In the past years, the White Center CDA has engaged in community facilitation on a diverse range of projects that touch the White Center community. These projects include King County’s revisions to the North Highline and White Center Subarea plan, fighting for the strong and resilient business community within the White Center business core, advocating for and providing culturally relevant early learning opportunities and needed resources to families, and bringing a needed hub of community resources and affordable housing to White Center.

The White Center CDA is a nonprofit organization founded in 2002. The White Center CDA works to connect community to people and place in many ways, such as the Spring Clean, the White Center 5k, and ongoing anti-displacement work within White Center.

Here’s where to go to get tickets.

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Free burgers this afternoon at Li’l Woody’s

September 5th, 2022 at 10:54 am Posted in Food, White Center news | Comments Off on Free burgers this afternoon at Li’l Woody’s

Li’l Woody’s is celebrating Labor Day by giving away free burgers for three hours this afternoon. Between 2 and 5 pm today (Monday, September 5th), you can go to Li’l Woody’s at 9897 16th SW in downtown White Center for your free burger. Note that it’s a basic free burger – if you want anything extra, that’ll cost you. One per customer, and you have to order in person – no online or phone orders. (Thanks to Karen for the tip.)

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CRIME WATCH: Sex offender charged with trying to lure child

August 31st, 2022 at 11:30 pm Posted in Crime, White Center news | 1 Comment »

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has filed charges against 67-year-old Ranjel Joaquin, a convicted sex offender arrested at Steve Cox Memorial Park two weeks ago. The charging documents allege that Joaquin tried to get a 10-year-old girl to go into a wooded area with him, and then exposed himself to her. The girl’s mother called 911 while following him through White Center and taking photos, but he took off as deputies arrived. A detective following up on the case circulated the photos, and a colleague recognized Joaquin from another recent incident in which he was engaging in indecent exposure. Further investigation revealed additional similar arrests, as well as an extensive multi-state history of similar offenses. Police started looking for him and found him at Steve Cox park, watching children. They took him in for questioning and eventually arrested him. He is now charged with luring, indecent exposure, and failure to register as a sex offender. Joaquin remains in the King County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.

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North Highline Unincorporated Area Council to resume meetings in October

August 29th, 2022 at 10:52 pm Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news | Comments Off on North Highline Unincorporated Area Council to resume meetings in October

Update from NHUAC:

The North Highline Unincorporated Area Council wishes you a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

Please join us for our next monthly meeting on Thursday, October 6th at 7 pm.

Looking forward to seeing you in October!

Watch for specifics when that date gets closer.

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VIDEO: 2nd annual White Center Block Party

August 28th, 2022 at 2:59 pm Posted in Fun, White Center news | Comments Off on VIDEO: 2nd annual White Center Block Party

If you haven’t been to downtown White Center for this year’s Block Party, don’t miss the chance – you have three more hours, and the weather’s glorious. Dozens of vendors and organizations are there. Kid activities, too, like the bouncy toys south of 98th:

The intersection of 98th/16th is where you’ll find the main stage:

South of 98th is also where you’ll find Lariat Bar‘s wrestling ring – we caught part of an early match:

The “Hammer Brothers” (Jack and Sledge) were so dominant in that one, including the pre-match bluster, we didn’t even catch the names of their opponents. So go wander 16th between Roxbury and 100th until 6 pm, and look for the special wristbands you can buy for discounts and freebies at participating businesses! Proceeds this year benefit local nonprofits.

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BACK TO SCHOOL: Free meals for all Highline PS students

August 23rd, 2022 at 9:02 pm Posted in Highline School District, White Center news | 1 Comment »

The first day of school for Highline Public Schools is a little more than a week away – Thursday, September 1st. The district announced today that all students get free meals this year:

Research has shown there is a crucial relationship between nutrition and academic performance. This year, all Highline Public Schools students will be able to eat healthy, kid-friendly meals at school at no cost.

Highline Public Schools has been approved for the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) program as part of the National School Lunch Program for School Year 2022-23. Under this provision, all enrolled students on campus can receive a no-cost breakfast and lunch each school day.

Highline participates in Farm to School by promoting and serving locally grown foods. This exposes students to a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables from local farms and growers.

Highline is one of four school districts in Washington State awarded a Team Nutrition grant to develop new recipes. Staff have worked on recipes for fruit leather, salmon tacos, black bean and cheese pupusas, and huckleberry cornmeal muffins.

Highline menus are planned by a registered dietitian to meet USDA specifications based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

“We’re looking forward to creating some delicious recipes and menus this school year. We’re grateful that every child will be able to eat a balanced breakfast and lunch that will fuel their mind and body for a day of learning,” says Lisa Johnson, Director of Nutrition Services. “No-cost meals allow all students to try new foods and eat together while providing convenience to families.”

Even though meals are at no cost for everyone, some families may be asked to complete an income survey to access other discounts and benefits. Income data allows Highline to maintain state and federal school funding. Highline will share a link to the survey this fall with families. Completing the survey is simple and confidential. There are no citizenship requirements for participation in federal Child Nutrition Programs, and immigration status is not requested or disclosed.

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WHITE CENTER BLOCK PARTY: Wrestling @ Lariat Bar

August 23rd, 2022 at 8:44 pm Posted in Sports, White Center news | Comments Off on WHITE CENTER BLOCK PARTY: Wrestling @ Lariat Bar

Lariat Bar sent word that as part of this Sunday’s White Center Block Party, they’re presenting live, free wrestling – the Defy Summer Bash. You’re invited to two rounds 1 pm-2:30 pm and 3:30 pm-5 pm. Spectators have to be 21+ to watch from inside the beer garden but all ages are welcome outside the beer garden. If you haven’t yet been to Lariat, it’s at 9827 16th SW. The Block Party is happening noon-6 pm Sunday (August 28th).

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PARTICIPATORY BUDGETING: The winners are …

August 18th, 2022 at 4:40 pm Posted in King County, White Center news | Comments Off on PARTICIPATORY BUDGETING: The winners are …

After an event last night in Skyway, King County went public with the list of who’s getting what after the first-ever “participatory budgeting” vote in the unincorporated urban areas, including White Center/North Highline. Here are the local organizations/projects chosen, in two groups of recipients (the second for programs/services to be funded by a share of cannabis-tax revenue):

White Center/North Highline

White Center Food Bank “New Location Renovation Fund” ($875,000)
White Center Community HUB “Construction Fund” ($750,000)
Khmer Community Temple Support ($750,000)
Spray Park/Outdoor Cooling Center; Cool Me Down – White Center ($725,000)

White Center/North Highline (Funded by Marijuana Tax Revenue)

Gifts of Hope ($175,000)
Nepantla Cultural Art Programming ($150,000)
Acts on Stage – Programming ($75,000)
Green Education – New Start ($66,000)
Mental Health – Grief Support ($32,500)
White Center Heights Elementary School – Family Resource Center ($25,000)
Wolverine Select – Funding ($16,500)

Between North Highline and other urban unincorporated areas, $11 million of spending was decided in this first-ever round of “participatory budgeting.” The county says more than 2,600 people voted. Here’s the full announcement, including the list of funded projects/programs in other areas.

P.S. The new spraypark is planned for Steve Cox Memorial Park.

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Second annual White Center Block Party a week and a half away

August 17th, 2022 at 6:07 pm Posted in Fun, White Center news | 2 Comments »

(WCN photo from August 2021)

The second annual White Center Block Party is now a week and a half away. Here’s what organizers want you to know:

White Center Block Party 2022

WHERE: White Center Retail Core: 16th Ave. SW between Southwest Roxbury Street and Southwest 100th Street

When: Sunday, August 28, 2022 Noon-6pm

WHO: White Center Block Party and White Center Community Development Association

What: Street festival celebrating White Center

Cost: FREE and family friendly. Wristbands for additional purchase for discounts at participating businesses and special offerings at restaurants and bars during the White Center Block Party hours.

We are thrilled to announce we are bringing back the White Center Block Party! It all started when a group of local business and neighbors came together and decided that White Center needed some love after an extended series of vandalism and fires centered around the retail core last year.

Our mission with the first annual White Center Block Party (WCBP) was to raise money for the victims and businesses affected by all the fires. We are back this year to announce our second annual white center block party that will focus on creating a safe, family friendly, and inclusive place to gather after so much time apart. Proceeds for this year’s event will be donated to two local White Center organizations: White Center Food Bank AND Khmer Community of Seattle King County.

White Center Block Party aims to support and promote local and regional businesses – restaurants, bars, retailers, artists, musicians, etc. – all in one place.

Highlights:

· Street vendors including crafts, food, merchandise and local businesses and non-profits.

· Live music and performances

· Beer gardens

· Bars and restaurants

· Bouncy houses by Aleko

· Defy wrestling summer showcase hosted by Lariat Bar

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CRIME: Shooting in North Shorewood

August 16th, 2022 at 7:14 pm Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, Shorewood, White Center news | 5 Comments »

No arrests yet in a shooting Monday afternoon in North Shorewood, according to the King County Sheriff’s Office. It happened just after 3:30 pm Monday in the 2600 block of SW 110th. KCSO would only say it happened “in or near a garage of a home” and that one person was shot. The area resident who sent the photo said it appeared the victim was a woman and that firefighters/medics said she was critically injured. If you have any information, the KCSO case number to refer to when reporting it is C22027189.

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King County Public Health says doses remain at monkeypox-vaccination event in White Center

August 14th, 2022 at 4:56 pm Posted in Health, White Center news | Comments Off on King County Public Health says doses remain at monkeypox-vaccination event in White Center

King County Public Health says a community monkeypox-vaccination event still has doses available for eligible walk-ups – until 6 pm or until they run out – at the Lumber Yard Bar, 9630 16th SW in downtown White Center. Here’s who’s eligible.

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WHITE CENTER WEEKEND SCENE: Community Market

August 13th, 2022 at 4:35 pm Posted in White Center Community Development Association, White Center news | Comments Off on WHITE CENTER WEEKEND SCENE: Community Market

Until about 6 pm, the White Center Community Development Association-presented community market is on, at 16th/98th. Along with some food and merchandise vendors, you can check in with local nonprofits, like the White Center Food Bank, which is working on its move to downtown WC:

You can also find out more about the White Center HUB project from nonprofits like Southwest Youth and Family Services:

If you can’t get there today, two weeks from tomorrow is your next chance to shop in the street, the next White Center Block Party (August 28th).

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